Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Tale of Years - Part Three

Love in the Time of Aenarion

Of Daemons and the origins of the Dark Elves 

It is said that in the place that men call the Realm of Chaos – that other worlds name the Warp or the Immaterium – what passes for reality is conjured solely from the passions of the mortal races. Here festers anger and growing rage. Here festers jealousy and hatredHere, sorrow and agony.

From these coalescing emotions come purgatories and hells unnumbered, and to fill them, the Daemons of Chaos themselves; beings of pure emotion made into physical form: the frenzied Bloodletters of the Blood God Khorne, the seductive backstabbing Daemonettes of Slaanesh; the cavorting senseless Horrors of Tzeentch.

But something all but forgotten in men’s fear and superstition is that some of the most powerful bursts of emotion come from what might seem more benign sources; from passion and love. Where then do these sentiments come together? What creatures might be born from this union? Or might these feelings only corrupt the already corrupted? Might they lighten, if only for brief moments, the darkest of hearts?

For this was how it was for Prospertine and K’syarta, towering behemoths of daemonic power who strode the land in the wake of the Great Cataclysm when evil ran rampant and all but unfettered in the winds of magic blown from the north.

He, an exalted greater daemon of Khorne, tramping all mortal life he found beneath his fell hooves; she a perilously beautiful greater daemon of Slaanesh, every bit as powerful as her mate. They destroyed all that they met; pounding it to oblivion or corrupting it beyond measure, but their passion for one another was greater, perhaps, than any coupling that came since: the concentrated love and lust of all man and elvenkind. Theirs was a romance of tears and blood; of brutal kisses and torturous intimacy.

Theirs was the greatest and darkest love that the world has ever known.

But though this time belonged to them, leading a limitless horde of daemonic evil into the south, they and their great pernicious host was not unopposed. From Ulthuan, the Elves that had been created by the Great Old Ones waged war against the goodless things from the Realm of Chaos. Led by Aenarion, first of the Phoenix Kings and god among his fellow elves, bearing the thrice cursed Sword of Khaine, the Widowmaker, that damned both him and his line forever, the elves hurled back the invasion from their land. Aenarion and his army became consumed by war and vengeance and fought on, determined to eradicate every daemon that knew light, but the hordes of chaos were without end as long as the great rift lay wide.

For it was said that for the world that could be seen there was a fractured mirror: a daemon world from whence this invasion came, a world the daemons called Pernicious; a world ten times the size of the world of man; an unending source of evil.

Aernarion would never never surrender, but surely even he could not defeat billions, even with his army at his flanks.

But fate twists and fate turns, and never can mere mortals see the finish, despite their self-belief; and there came a day when the host of K’syarta and Prospertine fell upon a caravan of Elves who trekked the bitter cold, slaying their warriors in moments and dragging off their infirm and their women. But of these elves there was one female who K’syarta instantly sensed was snared at a focal point of the fates; a fair and virtuous she-Elf named Morathi. And she knew that an opportunity lay open here; a chance to turn those fates one day in her favour.

To Morathi’s kin, Prospertine visited the cruelest tortures before her gaping eyes, slaying all of them, but not before they screamed for days in agonizing pain. And to Morathi herself came K’syarta, whispering half-truths and goading, slowing splintering her soul with corruption and sowing seeds in her mind and spirit that would take hundreds of years to gestate.

But before the great Daemons and their gibbering followers could complete their work, Aenarion came into their midst astride the immense dragon Indraugnir. Sweeping the Widowmaker around him in great arcs and bellowing in triumph, he took the daemonic horde to battle.

For nine days he fought them, until all but K’syarta and Prospertine were slain or driven off, the bulk of his own army lying dead in the ice; and then, finally, with all his concentrated might, Aenarion sliced the head from Prospertine, slaying him instantly.

K’syarta screamed an eternal and never-ending scream, losing all coherence in her horror and loss. In moments she had dematerialized, banished by her own dismay, and only Aenarion and the few Elven survivors remained.

For long moments the cold winds swept the battleground, then the elf lord took up the unconscious Morathi, gazing into her eyes as they fluttered open, and he carried the beautiful creature away from the carnage.

Prospertine’s body slowly crumbled to ashes as his dark soul was scattered across the Immaterium, but deep in the Realm of Chaos, on the world of Pernicious, K’syarta could only sob and nurture her hatred; waiting for the moment of her return and her own vengeance.

As for Aenarion and Morathi…

Well she was indeed a beautiful creature, and the greatest elf there had ever been was already falling very deeply in love.

And what might spring from that fell union could only be guessed at…

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